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Banned Book Club! A world of love: “I am Jazz”, “Julian is a Mermaid” and LGBT+ children’s picturebooks
26 February, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Belsize Community Library’s book club looks at literature through the lens of censorship.
This February, for LGBT+ History Month, we’re looking at a topic that still sparks outsized controversy: picture books for young children that introduce LGBT+ themes.
Media outrage around the picture book “Jenny Lives With Eric and Martin” was crucial in the introduction of Section 28 to UK law in 1988. Schools worldwide continue to face issues of censorship around books that introduce LGBT+ themes to children. In 2019, there were protests at schools in Birmingham over the No Outsiders programme, which aimed to encourage diversity in schools and recommended teachers use picturebooks such as And Tango Makes Three and Julián is a Mermaid..
So many beautiful picture books are available now that enable children to understand the world in which we live. This is a world in which families take various forms, in which gender is not always fixed, in which children can learn that their differences will be celebrated.
Starting from Jazz Jennings’ “I am Jazz” and Jessica Love’s “Julián is a Mermaid”, we want to discuss how LGBT+ themes are incorporated into children’s books. How can authors make the language simple and inclusive, when dealing with issues that many adults don’t even understand?
We’re delighted to have our friends from Forum+ joining us again for this session.